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There are a lot of things the baby books and even other parents prepare you for regarding your first or even second and third baby, but no one warns you about all of the little messes along the way that never seems to stop, even as your babies grow into toddlers.
Luckily, the best car seat protectors are there to keep your car relatively clean. Or, at least make it so you only have to clean all of the cereal pieces, cracker crumbs, and milk splatters off the seat protector rather than your own car.
It might seem like a frivolous purchase, but the truth is that car seat protectors are typically inexpensive and last long enough to be well worth whatever cost they might be.
They’re also useful after the car seat stage and with the booster seat stage since they still do the work of catching the crumbs and stains before they reach the actual seat of your car. And these are the top four best car seat protectors to choose from.
1. Baby Caboodle Car Seat Protector
Not all car seat protectors need to have special compartments for storage or the ability to cover an entire seat and then some, but the fact that the Baby Caboodle Car Seat Protector can do these is a huge plus. A strap fits around the headrest of the backseat of your car while the car seat protector itself covers pretty much the entire space of the seat under your baby’s car seat.
In an effort to further protect your car upholstery, brides from snacks, and unruly sippy cups of milk, the car seat protector features an added layer of foam to absorb the impact of your baby’s car seat and prevent any dents into your actual seats.
Plus, the netted compartments easily fit snacks or bottles when you don’t need them. Or, when you need to keep them out of your messy toddler’s sight. Of course, that’s not necessarily a deciding factor for most parents, but the extra storage certainly helps on longer car rides and trips.
- Size: The Baby Caboodle Car Seat Protector is 19.5 x 9.2 inches.
- Where To Buy: Right now, you can find the car seat protector primarily on Amazon.
- The Best Part: Being able to cover your entire seat while also having an extra layer of fabric and cushion make the Baby Caboodle Car Seat Protector one that you can use without the constant worry of having your upholstery permanently indented, even if it is free of crumbs.
- The Not So Great: Since the straps on the baby car seat protector are meant to fit around the headrest, if you have a car with headrests that are not adjustable or removable, that might be a problem.
2. Munchkin’s Brica Seat Guardian
As a trusted and affordable brand that most parents know early on, Munchkin’s Brica Seat Guardian car seat protector is another product that is both practical and easy to use in pretty much any car.
With a textured surface on top, it helps to prevent the car seat from moving or shifting while the car is in motion and it even has an adjustable clip for the headrest behind the car seat. Not only that, but it overlaps the seat and extends on either side of your baby’s car seat to catch the messes.
But the sheer safety that’s involved with Munchkin’s Brica Seat Guardian, regarding the non-slip material, is something that you can’t really put a price on. Though overall, the car seat protector is still a fair deal.
- Size: The Seat Guardian is approximately 45 x 20 inches.
- Where To Buy: You can find the car seat protector on Amazon or the manufacturer’s website or in-store at Walmart or Target.
- The Best Part: The Dual Grip Traction technology used with the double-sided grip on the Seat Guardian makes for more safety and durability as your baby’s car seat sits on top of it.
- The Not So Great: Since the car seat protector has rubber divets on each side, it might leave indents in the leather seats of cars.
3. Royal Oxford Luxury Car Seat Protector
Any car seat protector can claim to be washable and catch your kids’ messes, but the Royal Oxford Luxury Car Seat Protector is a little more special than that, as it lives up to its name. Made of water-resistant leather, it not only catches spills but does not typically become stained itself.
It also has a security flap that can be tucked into your car’s seat in order to hold the car seat protector in as tightly as possible. And to top it all off, there are three mesh pockets at the front of the seat cover.
Ince the Royal Oxford Luxury Car Seat Protector is designed to be used with pretty much any car seat or booster seat, it also latches compatible for your infant carrier car seats, meaning you can use it right from the start. And as all parents can agree, you will likely need to use it right from the beginning anyway.
- Size: The car seat protector measures 16.8 x 9 inches.
- Where To Buy: Right now, the Royal Oxford Luxury Car Seat Protector, manufactured by BeBe by Me, is for sale on Amazon.
- The Best Part: Easy to clean. Since it’s made of both a fabric and PVC leather blend, it means less permanent stains and more of the wipe off and clean variety.
- The Not So Great: Even though the majority of the car seat protector is made from a non-grip material, the tongue of sorts that fits into the seat to keep the cover secure doesn’t have any non-slip treatment and therefore often slips out.
4. Summer Infant Elite DuoMat
Summer Infant is another brand often trusted and sought out by parents because of its quality and pricing. With the Summer Infant Elite DuoMat, you get a car seat protector that can extend up the length of your car’s back seat or can fold down when your infant is still rear-facing.
It also has front compartments for storage that you can see and since it’s a non-slip car seat protector, it works to hold your baby’s car seat into place, though it should always be secured in tightly.
Since the car seat protector can be either held the length of the back of the seat or extend all the way to the top, it’s perfect for everything, from car seats, to high-back boosters, and even booster seats. The biggest quality, though, is that the Summer Infant Elite DuoMat is there to catch messes and can be easily washed itself.
- Size: The car seat protector is a bit larger than most at 19.5 x 41 inches.
- Where To Buy: You can find the Summer Infant Elite DuoMat on Amazon and the manufacturer’s website as well as in-store at Buy Buy Baby or Babies ‘R Us.
- The Best Part: The size of the car seat protector is much bigger than most and covers more space in the back seat. Or, on other words, collects more of the mess.
- The Not So Great: If used for a long period of time without routinely removing the car seat protector to clean it, the foam lining the bottom of it might start to crumble off onto your car’s backseat.
Needless to say, the best part about investing in a good car seat protector is the fact that regardless of which one you choose, it can likely be used for a long time. And even if it doesn’t, most of the car seat protectors on this list are affordable enough to justify a replacement one, should you need to.
The most logical car seat protector, because of its size, price, and additional compartments is the Baby Caboodle Car Seat Protector, though you probably can’t go wrong with any of the others here.
The important thing is that you can see the value in having one at all since it can be the difference between a car that you’re forever vacuuming and one that you only need to take the car seat protector out of to clean every other week.